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Патент USA US3090088

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May 21, 1963
3,090,078
R. N. ACKLES
PROCESS FOR FOAMING PANELS IN SITU'
Filed May 29, 1958
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May 21, 1963
R. N. ACKLES
3,090,078
PROCESS FOR FOAMING PANELS IN SITU
Filed May 29, 1958
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R. N. ACKLES
3,090,073
PROCESS FOR FOAMING PANELS IN SITU
Filed May 29, 1958
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United States Patent 0 ice
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Patented May 21, 1963
2
3,995,978
PRGCESS FOR FOAMING PANELS IN SITU
Robert N. Aclrles, Flint, Mich” assignor to
A. M. Stackhouse, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Filed May 29, 1958, Ser. No. 738,820
6 Claims. (Cl. 18—-59)
The present invention relates to a process for foaming
showing the injection and formulating nozzles on their
bar mount and carriage prior to injection.
FIGURE 3 is a cutaway view of the nozzle tip retreating
and spreading resin material between the skins for foam
ing.
FIGURE 4 is an elevational section view of a completed
and cured panel showing the foamed resin material ?lling
the cavity de?ned by the spacers and skins.
‘FIGURE 5 is ‘a cross section elevation View taken
the process of the present invention relates to a simple 10 through one of the formulating and ejecting nozzles show
ing its construction and indicating the interrelationship
process which is substantially automatic and eliminates
of valving, mixing, and formulating elements and indicat
much of the handwork hitherto required in the fabrication
the cores of structural panels in place. More particularly
ing shut off control.
FIGURE 6 is a partially exploded view through the
With the advent of the foaming of resins, the insulating
barrel
portion of the formulating ‘and ejecting nozzle and
15
characteristics and the strength of such foamed material,
showing the operative interrelationship between barrel,
with attendant reduction in weight, has enabled such ma
conduit receiver, valve control tube and mixer shaft.
terial to replace other forms of packing and insulation
FIGURE 7 is a sectional plan view taken on the line
previously used to form the core of structural panels.
VII—VI-I of FIGURE 5 and showing the valve control
Conventional fabrication means were employed to make
linkage connected to the valve control synchronizing bar.
use of the foamed material. It was cut and shaped, and
FIGURE 8 is a side elevation view of the automated
the strips thus formed were sandwiched between sheets
production line equipment, partially cut away for clarity
of facing material and glued or wired into place. Cutting,
with retraction of the nozzle in phantom line.
?tting and securing of the foamed resin material was
FIGURE 9 is a partial top plan view of the equipment
done by hand at considerable expense and with attendant
shown
in FIGURE 8 and partially cut away-for clarity
25
slow production. The ?tting of the foamed resin core
of panels having a foamed resin core.
was frequently inaccurate and as a consequence consist
indicating camming engagement for platen control.
‘FIGURE 10 is an elevational detail view of an auto
ency of insulating and structural properties could not be
readily standardized. Dimensional control was extremely
difficult to achieve since strips of too great thickness re
sulted in non uniform sizing and the strips of too little
thickness resulted in poor adhesion to the facing mate
mation rail link showing the tapered cam striker portion
and the platen grip for moving platen pairs in a single
direction.
vised to serve the paneling industry. Conventional assem
the positioning of marginal spacer elements; the closing
FIGURE 11 is a cross section view of the vacuum valve
connections as between vacuum platen pairs and auto
rial and consequent mechanical or thermal failure. Where
mation rail or stationary connection.
electrical circuits, plumbing elements, and framing was in
serted in the panel, the strip ?tting problem was greatly
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
35
increased.
In general, the process of the present invention involves
While foaming of resins-in-place has been practiced for
the laying down of one sheet of facing material which is
sometime, no commercially practical system had been de
to become one of the skin surfaces of the ?nished panel;
bly procedures were continued and where the paneling
systems employin‘7 a foamed resin core for thermal insu
lation and soundproo?ng existed, the industry continued
of the panel cavity by laying down a second skin on the
frame formed by the spacing elements; and the insertion
of the foamable resin composition into the cavity de?ned
by the two surface skins and marginal spacers; and ?nally
allowing the resin composition to expand to the de?ni
of standardization. The application of adhesives as be
tween the facing material and the foamed resin was both 45 tional limits of the cavity and to adhere to the skins and
to pack or load the foamed cores into the panel, dodging
conduits, piping, and trying to maintain some semblence
expensive and time consumtin'g.
spacers while expanding and curing in place.
Apparatus-wise, a novel formulating and mixing noz
zle has been devised which comprises a nozzle extension
barrel that extends the length or breadth of the particular
Another object is to provide a process which assures 50 panel and ejects a metered amount of foam forming ma
uniformity of panel thickness.
terial as it retreats from the panel cavity. These ejector
Another object is to provide a process whereby an ad
elements are provided for plural mounting on a mounting
hesive bond is automatically established as between the
bar. The mounting bar is secured to a carriage which
interior of each of the skin surfaces and the foamed core. 55 extends and retracts to insert and withdraw the nozzles
Accordingly the object of the instant invention is to pro
vide a process which substantially eliminates manual op
erations by foaming the resin core in situ.
Another object is the utilization of apparatus capable
of inserting a foaming or expanding resin between a pair
of skin surfaces wherein the resin expands in situ to secure
from the panel being ?lled.
For successively forming the panels in accord with the
present process a closed path conveyor apparatus is em
and bond to conduits, piping, framing, and the like pre
ployed, having a plurality of stations. The closed path
fabricated into the standardized panel.
60 accommodates a plurality of pairs of vacuum faced hinged
Other objects include the provision of an extremely
platens. The uppermost of the platen pairs is arranged
simple process that enables the user to obtain a marked
to open and close in ‘accord with a prearranged cam track
increase in the production of panels, as will be readily
appreciated by those skilled in the art as the description
in association with the machine frame. At ‘loading and
unloading stations ‘the hinged platens are open, the vac
proceeds.
uum holding the inserted skins in position. As the platens
In the drawings:
close and open after the loading of the skins, the V?CllUlill
FIGURE 1 is a somewhat schematic perspective view
snap-s both skins into indexed posit-ion. Marginal spacers
of a pair of open vacuum platens showing marginal spacers
are loaded onto the skin retained by one of the platens and
in place with skin facings in position.
materials such ‘as electrical conduits, plumbing connec
FIGURE 2 is a somewhat schematic perspective show 70 tions and desired frame components are also inserted.
ing a pair of loaded platens in position prior to ?lling and
Then the platens are closed pressing both skins marginally
3,090,078
against ‘the spacers. The vacuum applied to the exterior
of the skins by the platen avoids slumping in the skin
surface. In this condition the platen set is delivered to
the resin injection station. The carriage mounted resin
injector is inserted into the cavity formed by skins and
spacers. Upon “bottoming,” the injector lays down a
coating of a foamable resin composition in spaced apart
uniform lines as the injector nozzles retreat with the car
4
measure controlled by the chemical and physical charac
teristics of the resin formulation 17 selected for foaming
of the resin core 18 since this formulation factor controls
the time allowable for insertion of the expandible resin
17 and for the time required for expansion and subsequent
curing in situ of such resin 17 . A highly satisfactory resin
formulation has been discovered which allows for expan
sion in about 15 seconds with a sufficient curing time of
about 3.25 minutes in situ under ambient room conditions
riage from the cavity. The nozzles are withdrawn and
the panels are locked in ‘the form, during which time the 10 and without the application of accelerating heat or light.
resin foams and expands to ?ll the aforementioned cavity
The process ‘thus described allows for the insertion of con
and curing is initiated. Upon return of the platen pairs
duits, piping, and other members prior to ‘foaming so as
along the closed path, the platens are opened and the
to completely encapsulate the components positioned be
panel product is removed. The stripped platen is then
tween the skins 11 and 14. FIGURE 4 best illustrates a
returned for reloading and recycling. In all stations on 15 ?nished panel 13.
the closed course, except for the initial loading and ?nal
APPARATUS
removal steps, the vacuum is applied to the platens secur
Novel apparatus has been devised to facilitate the prac~
ing the skins to the platen faces while pressing the margin
tice of the foregoing process and to make possible auto
of the skins into dimensional contact with the marginal
mated production. An ejector nozzle or gun 19 was de
spacers. 'Ilhe vframe supporting the ?rst of the ?ights and
vised so as to permit mixing, agitation, and formulation
the second return ?ight of platen sets is modular in con
of
the foam formulated resin 17 adjacent the point of
struction so that the user can insert additional stations,
ejection. The gun 19 is provided to be inserted in a cavity
Where necessary.
to be ?lled with foamable resin 17 and then ejects the
Successive movement of ‘the platen sets is accomplished
by means of front and rear cylinders. Travel through the 25 resin 17 in a retreating path. When employed in batteries
20 of spaced apart guns 19, the ?lling operation can cover
upper and lower ?ight is managed by an upper and lower
a selected area for uniform ?lling. The battery 20 type
automation rail. The automation rail is vacuum supplied
of gun usage is best illustrated in FIGURE 3 where the
to serve the maintenance of vacuum throughout the
battery 20 is mounted on a carriage 21 which extends
movement cycle of platen. Fixed vacuum brackets supply
the nozzle portion 22 of the guns 19 into a desired cavity
the vacuum when the platens are in a stationary station
to be ?lled. Such a carriage 21 is served by metering
on the apparatus.
pumps 23 mounted in plural banks on the carriage to feed
Valving on the platens pick up the vacuum as it is
metered raw material to the guns 19. FIGURE 5 is a sec
supplied by either the automation rail or the ?xed
tion view showing the structure of the gun 19. A housing
brackets.
24 substantially encloses the drive mechanism of the gun
In operation, the line operates continuously, a full cycle
19 and carries a plurality of conduits 25, 26, and 27. The
being completed in about 6.5 minutes with each “dwell”
conduits 25, 26, and 27 deliver resin in metered amounts
and “movement” requiring about 15 seconds each. This
through the barrel 28 to operating valve 29 and thence
arrangement allows about 3.25 minutes for at least partial
into the mixing chamber 30, where the plurality of com
cur-ing in place. In some instances curing of the foamed
ponents
are intimately admixed for ultimate ejection
resin may be substantially completed within this period 40
“through nozzle tip 31.
of time.
The housing 19, as will ‘be appreciated, may have a
Panels produced by the process meet rigid dimensional
'variety of forms, dependent upon any desired speci?c
standards of stability and ‘the foamed-in-place core pro
mounting ‘arrangement. With reference to FIGURE 7,
vides excellent ?lling of the panel cavity, with complete
encapsulation of imbedded conduits and the like resulting. 45 the speci?c form described is generally rectangular and
encloses valve control mechanism 32 and provides jour
PROCESS
nalling and support for the drive shaft 33 and conduit
entries. A ?exible coupling 34 connects the drive shaft
The process of the present invention is best sequentially
33 to the drive motor 35. Preferably, the drive motor 35
described with reference to FIGURES 1-4, inclusive. A
?rst skin 11, comprising a pre-formed plastic or resin rein 50 is variable as to speed. A hub "36, attached to the hous
ing 24, provides mounting means for the tubular barrel
forced sheet is laid down. Marginal spacers or barriers
28. A spacer cylinder 37 seals the end of the barrel 28
12, which later become a part of the completed panel 13,
adjacent the housing vand spacedly retains the conduits 25,
are peripherally arranged to form a spacer frame or dam
about the skin 11. A second skin 14 is closed upon the
26 and 27. The spacer 37 is provided with an ori?ce 38
frame formed by the barriers 12. VWith the mating skin 55 which cooperates with the ?ush connection 39 to commu
nicate ?ushing solvent to the barrel 28. At the end of the
barrel 28, remote from the drive end, a valve plate 40 is
?xed and sealed peripherally to the barrel 28. The con
duits 25, 26, and 27 are connected to the plate 40 as best
tity of the lfoama-ble resin composition 17. The resin 17 60 indicated in FIGURE 6. The plate 40 is also provided
with a flush ori?ce 41 therethrough, communicating the
is uniformly spread by retreating the source of supply
solvent contents of the barrel 28 with the mixing chamber
from the opposite end of ‘the cavity 15 ‘through the access
30. A bearing tube 42 extends axially through the hous
openings 16. The foam formulated resin 17 is then al
ing 24, hub 36, spacer 37, valve plate 40' and barrel 28
lowed to expand and to uniformly ?ll the cavity 15. The
thus foamed core 18 completely ?lls the cavity 15 and 65 and is ‘connected to a lower valve plate 43. The mating
surfaces of ?xed plate 40 and lower plate 43 are lapped to
adheres or bonds to the skin surfaces and the barrier sur
‘form an adequate liquid seal. The lower plate 43 is pro—
faces de?ning the cavity 15. Thus the foaming occurs
vided with a plurality of openings which selectively cor
in situ to provide good structural support for the ?nished
respond to openings in the plate 40 and the ?ush ori?ce 41.
panel 13 and any surplus of foamed material 18 is forced
out of the access openings 16 where it is eventually 70 Thus it will be seen as illustrated in FIGURES 6 and 7,
that as the bearing tube 42 is rotated the movable plate
trim-med from the ?nished product.
The general production sequence thus described is
43 either matches or mismatches selected openings to
highly amenable to continuous operation as will ‘be appre
communicate the contents of the conduits 25, 26, and 27
ciated as the description proceeds. Coordination of the
with the mixing chamber 30. This is arranged so that
sequencing in automatic, continuous production is in large 75 metered amounts of a plurality of formulation components
11 and the barrier elements 12, this second skin 14 fonns
or de?nes an opening 15, making the hollow or cavity por
tion of a sandwich. Access openings 16, de?ned in one
of the barrier elements 12 allow the insertion of a quan
3,090,078
6
5
Example Il—-F0amable Resin Composition
Parts by weight
A. Formulation A:
Polyester resin (Polylite 8601-Reichl1old
enter the mixing chamber 30 simultaneously. The two
plates 40 and 43 thus form a valve 44 which either admits
formulation components to the mixing chamber 30, stops
the admixture, ‘or admits ?ushing solvent carried in the
Chemical Company) __________________ __
barrel 28 in response to turning of the tubular bearing 42. 01
Polyester resin (Ptolylite 8120—Reichhold
A compression spring 45, acting on the housing 24 at one
Chemical Company) __________________ __
end and against an abutment ring 46 attached to the hear
B. Formulation B:
ing tube 42 at the other end, provides axial pressure as
Diethylene triamine _____________________ __
between the two valve plates 40 and 43. Rotation of the
Polyoxyethylene derivatives of fatty acid partial
plate 43 by rotation of the tube bearing 42 selects the
esters of hexitol anhydrides (Tween 40
delivery as desired to the mixing chamber '30. This is ac
Atla-s Powder Company) ______________ __
complished by the movement of the sector gear 47 locked
C. Formulation C:
to the tubular bearing 42 and engaged with the rack 48.
Polyester resin (Piolylite 8601—-Reichhold
Lineal movement of the rack 48‘ thus causes selected rota
40
10*
03.0
1.0
Chemical Company) __________________ __ 22.0
tion of the sector gear 47 and results in selected position 15
In preparing the complete resin composition 17 capable
ing of the valve 44. FIGURE 7 best illustrates the de
of expanding in situ, the above formulations were em
scribed aotuation. In individual installations, the rack 48
ployed as follows:
may be hand operated. When a plural installation of guns
19 is employed, ‘as in battery 20, the synchronizing bar 49
Parts by weight
can be moved so as to simultaneously select identical con
20
ditions for a plurality of units as shown in a carriage set
Formulation A _____________________________ __ 50.0
Formulation B _____________________________ __
0.5
ting in FIGURES 2 and 8, for example.
Water ____________________________________ __
1.0
The drive shaft 33 which extends through the bearing
Formulation C __________________________ __~___ 84.0
tube 42 is rotatable therein and journalled thereby and
The Formulations A and C, and the water were predis
extends for substantially the entire length of the gun 19 25
ersed and added to Formulation B immediately prior to
extending axially through the mixing chamber 30' to con
use, i.e., in the dispensing apparatus.
tact the spring loaded thrust bearing 50 in the end of
The resulting foarnable resin composition 17 had a pot
the mixing sleeve 51 at the nozzle tip 31. The tip 31 is
life substantially longer than that of the composition of
provided with a ?ared delivery port 52. The shaft 33 is
driveably connected to a spiral screw or auger type mixer 30 Example I, due in part to the smaller amount of catalyst
employed (Formulation B), while the ‘foamed core 18,
53 con?ned in the mixing sleeve 51 and operating axially
upon curing, showed greater ?exibility than the cured
therein. The blades 54 of the mixer 53 are perforate,
foam of Example I 'beoause of the inclusion in Formula
as illustrated in FIGURE 5. The object of the mixer 53
tion A of a substantial amount of a rather ?exible poly
is to provide adequate spiral mixing and shear which
thoroughly ladrnixes the resin material 17 prior to emis 35 ester resin (Polylite 8120).
In practice, the component formulations of the foam- sion from the nozzle tip 31.
able resin composition ‘are introduced into the mixing
The following examples illustrate the foamable resin
chamber 30 (see FIGURE 5) through the conduits 25,
compositions 17 of the present invention as used in the
2t’) and 27. For example, in Example I above the For
process and apparatus herein described.
40 mulations A and C and water are predispersed and passed
Example I-Foa‘mable Resin Composition
A. Formulation A:
Polyester resin
(Polylite
through conduit 25 while Formulation B is passed through
conduit 26, the ?nal admixing taking place in the chamber
Parts by weight
860l——Reichhold
30. Where the pot life of the foama'ble resin composition
Chemical Comp-any) __________________ __ 50.0
B. Formulation B:
45
Dimethylethanolamine __________________ __ 03.0
Polyoxyethylene derivatives of vfatty acid partial
esters of hexitol :anhydrides (Tween 40
Atlas Powder Company) ______________ __
1.0
C. Formulation C:
Polyester resin
(P-olylite 860l—Reichhold
is ‘fairly long, predispersion of the various component
formulations may be eliminated and each passed directly
through the respective conduits into the mixing chamber.
In the above polyurethane compositions, the Formula
tions A and C comprise the basic resin components. A
wide variety of commercially available polyesters are
50 operative, the precise choice depending in part upon the
properties desired in the foamed core. Other resins, such
as the epoxy resins, e.-g. reaction products of epichloro
Chemical Company) __________________ __ 22.0
hydrin and bis-phenol A catalyzed with a polyfunctional
amine having an active ihydrogen, may be employed, al
In preparing the complete resin composition capable 55 though
the polyesters are preferred. Other commercially
of self-expansion or foaming in situ, the above formula
available isocyanate modi?er resins may be substituted
tions were employed as follows:
for the toluenediisoeyanate of Formulation C and their
Toluenediisocyanate
(Hilene) ____________ __ 78.0
Parts by Weight
ratio of use to the polyesters may be varied in order to
achieve the desired properties in the ?nished core, e.g.
Formulation A _____________________________ __ 50.0
Formulation B _____________________________ __
1.1
Water ____________________________________ __
2.5
Formulation C
60 ?exibility, adhesion and the like. For some applications,
a substantially rigid foamed core 18 is required, while in
.. 84.0
other instances a foamed core exhibiting some ?exibility
is desired. Proper regulation of the individual resin com
The contents of Formulation B, the Water, and Formula
tion C were ‘admixed and the resulting composition ad
ponents in vFormulations A and C enables the degree of
mixed with Formulation A, immediately prior to use, to 65 ?exibility or rigidity in the core to be controlled.
The catalyst for the resins forms the primary com
give the completed foamable resin composition. Such
ponent of Formulation B. Other catalysts having active
composition readily expanded in situ, without external
application of heat, to give the desired foamed core.
hydrogen groups such as triethanolamine, diethylene tri
Alternatively, Formulations A and C, and the water
amine, m-phenylene diamine, and the like may be suc
have been pre-mixed and then combined with the Formu~ 70 cessfully employed. At the same time, a surface active
agent or wetting agent may conveniently be incorporated
lation B to yield the ?nal, foamable polyurethane resin
composition. When foamed, the resulting core exhibited
to give greater uniformity of pore size to the ?nished
a density‘ of approximately 2 pounds per cubic foot and a
foamed core. The preferred agents are the polyoxy
crushing strength of about 48 pounds per square inch.
ethylene derivatives of the fatty acid partial esters of
The pot life of the composition was about 25 seconds.
hexitol anhydrides (Tweens) although other surfactants
75
3,090,078
7
8
such as the pluronics (Wyandotte Chemical) and tergitols
may be successfully employed. Such agents also reduce
the surface tension of the foamable compositions, thereby
I
.
sheets. These skins may also be wooden, metal or plastic
sheet stock, for example, and may likewise comprise
resin laminated or bonded plywood or aluminum sheets.
Since the foamable resin compositions 17 adhere well to
all of these various skin materials, the process and appa
permitting them to wet the surfaces of the skins more
readily upon application, thus reducing or overcoming any
surface friction. The amount of Formulation B may be
by weight of the combined resins of Formulations A
and C. Thus, the pot life of the foamable compositions
ratus of this invention have general applicability to the
production of cored panels having many varying skin or
facing surfaces. Each of the surfaces 61 and 62 is served
by a vacuum cavity 64, which cavities 64 (FIGURE 11)
may be varied from as low as 5 seconds to as much
are connected by means of hose 65 located on the hinge
varied from as little as 0.5 to about 4.0 or more parts
as 3 or 4 minutes to conform to the required production
side of the platen pairs 58. Vacuum is applied to the
platen pairs 58 in the “dwell” position at each station
center through a Vacuum valve pad 66 (located in phan
blowing purposes. Since the catalyzed reaction is highly
tom line in FIGURE 9). While the platens 58 are in
exothermal in nature, the water is readily reacted with 15 motion vacuum is supplied to the platen pairs 58 through
the isocyanate group of the resin, thereby liberating
valves 67, served by vacuum connection in the auto
carbon dioxide and providing the desired pores in the
mation rail 68. The valve 67 comprises a ball check
?nished foam. The water content of the foamable resin
type unit best illustrated in FIGURE 11 and is identical
composition may be successfully varied from as small as
whether in engagement with the automation rail 68 or
schedule of the apparatus.
The water is employed to provide ample vapor for
0.5, to 3.0 or Vmore parts by weight of the combined 20 vacuum pad 66. Adequate seal as between pad 66 or
rail 68 and the platen pair 58 is by means of an O ring
sodium bicarbonate or sulfonated hydrocarbons, may be
69 seated in adequate annular grooves 70. The vacuum
used Where it is desirable to have more carbon dioxide
connections or leads 71 are positioned as illustrated in
or sulfur dioxide or trioxide, respectively available in the
FIGURE 11 and are served by a vacuum source not
foaming media.
25 illustrated. As shown schematically in FIGURE 1 the
The foarnable resin compositions 17 of the present
object of the vacuum surfaces 61 and 62 is to provide
invention may impart densities of between about 1.5 to
retention means for the skins 11 and 14. In the case
20 or more pounds per cubic foot to the foamed cores 18.
of the upper surface 61, the vacuum surface 61 sepa
Generally, densities between 2.0 and 10.0 pounds per
rates the upper skin 14 from the barriers 12 while the
cubic foot are preferred. Cores in this range have good 30 platen pairs 58 are open. During closure of the platen
flexibility and adhesion to the skins 11 and 14 and possess
pairs 58 on their hinges 72, the vacuum acting on the
satisfactory impact resistance and dimensional stability.
skins 11 and 14 assures that no slumping of the skins
The adhesion at the interface between the core and the
will occur prior to or during foaming in situ while the
skins is good, especially where both polyester skins and
surfaces 61 and 62 themselves serve to impart adequate
foamable polyester resin compositions have been em 35 retention pressures to seal the periphery of the skins 11
ployed. Similarly, the barriers 12 are secured to the
and 14 to the barriers 12.
'
thus foamed cores 18 by the adhesive action of the resin
The automation rails 68 run substantially the length
resin content. If desired, additional blowing agents, e.g.
compositions 17.
When cured cores 18 of exceptionally high impact
of the frame 55 serving each of the ?ights 57. The
automation rails 68 are reciprocated by hydraulically
operated cylinders 73. The uppermost of the cylinders
73 retracting while the lowermost of the automation
cylinders is extending. A portion of one of the rails
68 is shown in FIGURE 10. ‘Hinged to the rail 68 are
platen gripping pawls 74. The pawls 74 are spring
strength are required, as in the preparation of floor panels,
or where epoxy skins have been selected for use in the
panels the epoxy resins may be utilized in Formulations
A and C, in which event other blowing agents, such as
celogen, and those illustrated above as liberating carbon
dioxide or sulfur dioxide or trioxide are preferably em
loaded, the spring 75 biasing the pawl 74 into gripping
ployed. ‘In addition to the polyfunctional amines illus
position. The ramp or cam surface 76 allows the rail
68 to move past a mating moving dog attached to each
trated above, other catalysts providing active hydrogens,
such as acetic anhydride, may be used to catalyze the
epoxy resin system.
of the plated pairs 58. However, the pawl 74, upon re
turn draws the platen pair 58 with it. At the station
In general where soundproo?ng or other qualities 50 adjacent the lift elevator 59, a loading cylinder 77 hav
associated with closed cell foams are required, the foam
able resin compositions 17 preferably embody the poly
ester rather than the epoxy resins.
=In automation of the process herein described the fol
lowing apparatus has provided a highly e?icient means
for continuous production of panels 13. With reference
to FIGURE 8 a frame structure 55 is provided. The
frame 55 comprises a plurality of sections 56 which are
55
ing a latch 78 on its piston 79 reciprocates to draw the
platen pair 58 from its lifted position and onto the
uppermost of the ?ights 57. Subsequent movement is by
Way of the automation rails 68. Outboard of the drop
elevator 60 and beneath the carriage 21 (FIGURE 8)
is located a pusher cylinder 80 which ejects a platen
pair 58 from the elevator 60 and onto the lower ?ight 57.
As will be appreciated with reference to FIGURE 8,
substantially identical and when locked together in elon
the upper vacuum surface 61 is opened or closed in
gate adjacent reiationship provide a pair of ?ights 57 60 relation to the lower vacuum surface 62 in accord with
which constitute a closed path conveyor, each section
the position of control followers 81 attached to the upper
56 serving as a station for positioning of moving platen
vacuum surface 61 and riding on the cover control rail
pairs 58. A lift elevator 59 is provided at one end of
32. In this manner, as seen in FIGURE 8, the platen
the frame 55. A drop elevator 60 is provided at the
pairs 58 are opened as they reach the upper portion of
other end of the frame 55. The elevators 59 and 60 65 the lift elevator 59. This permits the insertion of a
provide transfer means moving the platen pairs 58 from
one of the ?ights 57 to the other of the ?ights 57, thus
closing the pathway movement of the platen pairs 58.
With reference to FIGURE 1, each of the platen pairs
58 comprises an upper vacuum surface 61 and a lower
vacuum surface 62. Locating bars 63 provide framing
control over placement of skins 11 and 14 and barriers
12. The skins 11 and 14, as referred to in this appli
cation, are preferably preformed reinforced resin sheets,
pair of skins 11 and 14.
The platen pairs 58 then
close as they are drawn away from the elevator 59 and
vacuum is applied as hereinbefore set forth. The action
of the vacuum snaps skin -11 into position on the lower
vacuum surface 62 and lifts the skin 14 into contact with
the upper vacuum surface 61. Then the platen pair 58
is reopened for the insertion of barrier frames 12 and
any other insertions not shown. The vacuum surfaces
'61 and 62 are then closed and remain closed as they
such as ?berglass reinforced polyester or epoxy resin 75 travel along the ?ights 57 until they reach the lower
3,090,078
It)
9
part of the lift elevator 57.
ginally applying spacer stock to said ?rst skin; closing
There the vacuum is re
a second skin upon said spacer and holding said second
leased from the platen pair 58 and the platen pairs are
separated for unloading. The control rail 82 thus con
trols selected opening and closing of the platen pairs ‘58
skin in ?xed spaced apart relation from said ?rst skin;
inserting by injector a foamable resin composition in the
cavity foamed between said spaced apart sheets; in a
quantity which upon expansion at least ?lls said cavity
withdrawing the resin composition injector in a direc
tion parallel to said sheets and from between said sheets;
allowing said resin composition to expand into bonding
as they move through the stations. As the closed platen
pair 58 approaches the injection station 83, the carriage
21 is driven to meet the moving platen pair 58, and
the nozzles 22 of the injection guns 19 in battery 20 pass
through the openings 16 in the barrier 12 and penetrate
to substantial contact with the wall of the cavityr 15 op 10 contact with said sheets atnd said spacers to ?ll said
cavity; curing the thus formed cored panels in place; and
posite the point of entry. The carriage 21, having been
driven by carriage cylinder 84, is then retreated. During
withdrawing the completed panels.
3. In a process for the continuous step-wise produc
retreating movement of the carriage the metered formu
tion of foamed in place cored panels, the steps which in
lation enters the mixing chambers 30 of the gun 19,
where the resin formulation is thoroughly admixed and 15 clude: laying down a ?rst skin of sheet material; mar
ginally applying spacer stock to said ?rst skin; closing a
emitted for uniform retreating dispersion in the cav
ity 15.
second skin upon said spacer with pressure sufficient to
The material 17 then expands to form the core
seal said spacer to said skins along the edges thereof
18 of foamed resin material. With the platen 58 closed,
while providing vacuum holding of both of said sheets
the platen 58 is moved along the lower ?ight 57 in the
closed control position until adequate curing in situ has 20 against slumping and in substantial parallel spaced apart
relationship and in support against humping, inserting
been accomplished.
a resin injector between said sheets; applying a source of
Movement o?’ of the upper ?ight 57 and onto elevator
resin between said sheets; applying a quantity of a foam
60 is accomplished by the pusher cylinder 85 which is
able resin composition sufficient upon expansion to at
mounted above the path of the platen pairs 58‘.
The opening and closing sequencing thus described 25 least ?ll in the cavity formed between said spaced apart
sheets while withdrawing the resin composition injector;
allows for insertion of panel components, separates the
allowing said resin composition to expand into bonding
skins 11 and 14 and allows for positioning of the framed
barriers 12.
contact with said sheets and spacer stock to ?ll said cavity;
The vacuum faces 61 and 62 assure con
curing the thus formed cored panels in place; and with
trol over slumping of the skins 11 and 14 and during
drawing completed panels.
injection of guns 19 and emission of foam formulated res
in 17 into the cavity 15. The cam and cam follower
4. In a process ‘for foaming a resin composition in situ
to ?ll a cavity de?ned by a pair of spaced apart skins
‘of sheet material held marginally separated by a peripher
control over opening and closing of the platen pairs 58
establishes rigid dimensional control over the expanding
and curing phases of the process.
It will be appreciated that power components, such as
hydraulic pumps, and sequencing controls are well known
al frame, the steps which include: holding said skins in
spaced apart parallel relationship with vacuum to prevent
slumping into said cavity; depositing 1a foam resin com
position between said sheets and through an edge of said
frame and applying back up pressure to said skins to
in the art as contributing power for motion and for con
trol over the apparatus sequencing. Such controls are
not illustrated but will be readily understood in the art. 40 marginally seal them against said peripheral frame and
to prevent humping upon expansion ‘of said foam resin
Similarly, variations can be anticipated where a greater
composition.
or larger number of stations are desired. The process
5. In a process for the continuous production of
apparatus described is timed for 15 second interval in
foamed in place cored panels, the steps which include:
each movement and “dwell.” Employing the described
laying down a ?rst skin sheet of material; placing mar
formulation, the 15 seconds provide su?‘icient time for
45 ginal spacer strips one of said strips ‘de?ning access open
loading, ?lling, and curing.
ings therethrough; closing a second skin sheet upon said
The resulting process provides ?nished foam cored
margin strips in substantial spaced apart register with
panels 13 at a rate of one panel every 15 seconds and
provides for adequate foaming and curing over a com
said ?rst sheet; vacuum holding said sheets in spaced
plete cycle time of about 6.25 minutes. Panels 13, thus
apart parallel relation; inserting an injector of foamed
trast to those produced by hand lay-up equipment and
procedures. The resulting product 13 is uniform as to
quality and is produced in accord with the present in
ings; applying a quantity of a foamable resin in the cavity
formed between said spaced apart sheets and su?icient
upon expansion to at least ?ll said cavity while with
constructed, are very durable and are inexpensive in con 50 resin between said sheets and through said access open
vention so as to avoid slumping of the skins 11 and 14
into the cavity 15.
Having thus described my invention, other modi?ca
55
tions may be made from time to time in the process thus
described, and such modi?cations are intended to be in
cluded herein, limited only by the scope of the appended
claims.
I claim:
1. In a process for foaming panels in situ, the steps
which include; applying marginal spacers between a pair
of thin walled skin sheets; supporting said sheets in
spaced apart relationship by vacuum and by back-up
drawing said resin injector; allowing said resin composi
tion to expand into bonding contact with said sheets and
marginal spaces to ?ll said cavity; curing the thus formed
cored panels.
6. In a process for forming a foamed core panel struc
ture in situ and comprising a pair of external skins and
peripheral spacers, the steps which include: placing a
?rst skin sheet on a vacuum positioning and back up
member; placing marginal spacer pieces on said ?rst skin,
one of said spacers having openings therethrough; ap
plying a second skin on a vacuum positioning and back
in avoidance of pump; introducing by injector a foamable
resin composition into the cavity between said sheets at
one end of said cavity; retreating said injector while the
up member in parallel register with said ?rst skin; press
ing said second skin while vacuum holding into contact
with said marginal spacers to form a cavity; inserting an
?lling of said cavity with said composition is progress
ing; and curing said composition in place in contact with
ejector into said openings; emitting a foamable composi
said sheets and said spacers.
2. In a process for the continuous step-wise production
of foamed in place cored panels, the steps which in
clude: laying down a ?rst skin of sheet material; mar 75
said cavity upon expansion while withdrawing said ejector
tion into said cavity in such a quantity as to at least ?ll
from said cavity; expanding and curing said resin in con
tact with said spacers and said skins while continuing said
vacuum and pressure control over said skins, while re
3,090,078
11
12
peating saQ-id insertidn and emission in successively pre
2,698,835 8
2,704,3 80
sented cavities.
- 2,727,278
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
541,529
1,948,344
2,027,165
2,271,058
2,634,244
2,662,243
Genese ______________ __ June 25,
Fischer ______________ __ Feb. 20,
Grubman ____________ .._ Jan. 7,
Binns _______________ _._ Jan. 27,
5
1895
1934
1936
1942
Simon et a1. __________ __ Apr. 7, 1953 1°
Schmuck et a1. ________ __ Dec. 15, 1953
2,744,042
2,762,739
2,827,665
2,913,772
> 2,951,261
Simon et a]. ______ __"____'_'Jan. 4, 1955
Cuzzi _______________ .._ Mar. 22, 1955
‘Thompson ___________ __ Dec. 20, 1955
Pace _______ _'_ _______ __ May 1, 1956
Weiss _______________ __ Sept. 11,
Rogers et a1 __________ __ Mar. 25,
Buchkremer et a1 ______ __ Nov. 24,
‘Sherman _____________ __ Sept. 6,
1956
1958
1959
1960
FOREIGN PATENTS
842,267
Germany ____________ __ Sept. 15, 1952
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